As an alternative to income tax, the idea of adopting a consumption tax has become a national movement, with Missouri at the front.
Consumption tax is a tax on what people spend, as opposed to what people earn. Supporters refer to the idea as the "fair tax."
And according to Colin Malaker, a fair tax advocate for the 9th Congressional District, "everyone’s eyes are on Missouri right now," anticipating that the state will eliminate the income tax and create the consumption tax.
The campaign lobbying for a consumption tax in Missouri said it's a grassroots movement.
“Its popularity is due mostly to word of mouth, grassroots work,” said John Putnam, co-director of Fair Tax for Missouri. “Presentations at civic groups like Rotary or the Kiwanis Club have done more for it than national figures.”
In January, Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, joined Rep. Ed Emery, R-Lamar, and other Republicans in the push for the consumption tax.
Emery’s work has taken three years to get through the Missouri House. It might take another three years to get through the Senate and to the public ballot, two years after Emery becomes term-limited in 2011, but it's gaining momentum.
Putnam said though the movement has started small, it's picking up speed.
“We’re gaining on this,” Putnam said, adding that the Missouri chapter of Fair Tax for America has more than 20,000 members, including more than 300 in Columbia.
What are the advantages or disadvantages of a consumption tax?